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We have published the ninth edition of the magazine Drugs – Policies and Practices. This edition is dedicated to Harm Reduction Programs.
The hour has come. The Harm Reduction Programs are being closed. It took an incredible amount of effort to draw the attention of those elected and paid to provide for the protection of the citizens’ health. Now the excuse is the current political crisis, despite the fact that the competent institutions had more than 10 years to come up with and introduce measures for sustaining and developing harm reduction programs. We keep waiting for someone else to solve our problems, only to complain afterwards how foreigners interfere in our internal politics. And yet, there is a way; finances as well. All it takes is strong will.
We take this opportunity to appeal to decision-makers that the country’s policies cannot revolve around their personal beliefs or individual mood. Decision-makers are elected and paid to address citizens’ needs and requests, citizens’ health and wellbeing, which is more important than prolonging the mandate or indulging other people’s caprices.
The closure of harm reduction programs in Macedonia will inflict immense damage. People are going to lose their jobs, of course, but also many people will lose the only health, social and legal support they receive from the state. The consequences will resound throughout the entire society. Solutions can be found – but somebody has to listen to them.
In fact, while we were working on this issue of Drugs – Policies and Practices, the newly appointed Minister of Health, Arben Taravari announced the Ministry’s full support for the harm reduction programs. Meanwhile, and in future, we will continue to draw attention to the need for long-term solutions in drug policies and practices in Macedonia.Online version